This is going to deviate from my standard brain dribble a bit and be more of an opinion piece.
So recently the EU has announced it is going to fine Microsoft again because Internet Explorer comes with Windows and isn't that lovely. This comes on the back of the fine they slapped on them last year for anti-competative behavior.
So Microsoft is still popular punching bag, I'm sure most people remember when Microsoft was found and fined for monopolistic behavior.
I'm like any other web developer and find that IE is a constant thorn in my side, particularly IE 6, but truth be told I don't mind IE 7 as a browser. I use it primarily at work (FF is way to slow for quick load and I just can't get excited about Chrome), and I don't have any problems with it. Sure the web dev tools are well behind Firebug, but the IE 8 tools really do look sweet, a complete Firebug rip-off, but every browser is doing that these days.
So if Microsoft is being sued because they are bundling a browser with their operation system (I smell Opera behind the push from the EU) it has me wondering about another company and their practices. That company would be Apple and here's a fact, they too supple a browser with their OS, Safari.
Like IE on Windows, Safari on OS X is lightning fast, compared to Firefox and Opera; like IE on Windows it's well embeded into the the OS; but unlike IE on Windows it's heavily tied to the browser version.
Did you know you can't run Safari 3 on OS X 10.4, nor can you run Safari 2 on OS X 10.5 (which I found out the hard way).
What about the iPhone, the cool kid on the block, and a kid who's cornering the 3G phone market, Apple's decided to allow third party browsers through the AppStore, (if you believe the rumors) but this is after the argument which was produced when a leaked Opera tried to be submitted.
And I'm not even going to look at the iPhone SDK EULA in regards to writing software (small hit, check out whether or not you can have a JIT compiler ;)).
Can you see the point I'm making, interesting isn't it, Apple is starting to look a lot like Microsoft did 15 years ago.
Sure, Apple doesn't have the market share that Microsoft commands, but it really is facinating just how much bundled software comes on a new Mac:
- iTunes (for Music and iPod syncing)
- iCal (calendard software)
- Address Book (contact management)
- Mail (POP, Exchange, etc)
- Quicktime (Video)
- Preview (for PDF)
And the list really does go on (but does include trials of iWork and Microsoft Office for Mac).
With Apples market share growing, Microsoft not really concerned about people installing Windows on a Mac (despite what the Apple marketing team wants you to believe), do you think that they should be worred? Are Apple going to become the next company which it is cool to pick on?